Do you ever take the time in your day to stop and consider the way those around you see the world? Each conscious existence is composed of experiences and thoughts. Each person having different experiences and thoughts. It's easy to brush this off and say that, even though we may perceive the world differently, the world remains the same.
But that isn't actually true, is it? I now question how real anything is outside of the way we perceive and believe it to be… Aside from my own theorizing, the truth remains that the way we experience life differs greatly between individuals. One sees as beautiful and bountiful, the other will see as dark and cutthroat -- the same exact world.
The way we perceive the world determines the way we live our lives. We come to understand the world as being a certain way and we respond to what we believe is reality. We plan and carry out our lives by the rules we ourselves created. Rules that only exist within the confines of your own mind.
I get lost in thought quite a lot. So much so that it almost feels like I'm detaching myself from the world around me entirely -- as if I'm not longer where I am, when I am. I don't remember this always being the case, but I've noticed that as the years go by, I find myself trapped more inside my own head and less present in the physical world around me.
This is surely due to lifestyle. I write on a laptop for a living. I'm helping launch a tech startup -- more time in front of a computer screen. And then of course we have our pocket computers which we, for some reason, continue to call cell phones. Apps. Emails. Texts. Websites. I most definitely spend more time these days staring at a screen than I do anything else.
I do my best to keep a balance between reality and virtual reality, but I know I'm not the only one living life in a similar fashion. The world is being overrun by computers, and each one of us is voluntarily submitting ourselves to what many call an unhealthy addiction. However, we're not all addicted. Most of us just find the utilities provided by such a lifestyle to be worth the costs.
Technology makes life easier. It makes life more affordable, more efficient, more rewarding. But does it make it better? It could. In fact, it should. The problem is that too many of us get used to the instant gratification that our high-speed world allows for. We know we can basically get anything we want, when we want it. The problem with this is that if we can get anything we want, we soon come to find that we don't want anything.
But isn't that the point?! Not to want? Actually no, it isn't. The point isn't to not want at all; the point is to want, to acquire and then to want some more. We're meant to want, always want. That's the only way our animalistic nature can remain in synch with our higher consciousness. We need to want in order to stay sane.
And not the shallow sort of wanting, but the kind that really motivates you to do great things, to be a great person. To put forth all the positive energy you can muster and create something worth creating. This goes for everything thing from the goal we set, to the love we create. This especially goes for dating.
We just don't put in the effort that we used to. And by we, I mean this generation. Dating for our generation has always been easier because connecting to new people has been easier for us than it has been for any generation, ever. And it continues to get easier and easier with each passing year.
It's gotten so easy, that I have to argue that it's too easy. It's too easy to meet new people. Too easy to try out different options. Too easy to overlook the wonderful person right in front of you, because you're too busy looking at your next door neighbor's yard. The thing is, although landing a date has gotten much easier, dating itself has gotten much more difficult.
While once people used to have to find beauty in flaws, we now instead find a flaw and swipe left. Fucking swiping left; that's what our culture has created as a means of experiencing all the different people in the world. We get a quick glimpse and then make a judgment. Which, let's be honest, always balances on whether or not this person is hot enough. Which, let's be real honest, usually depends on whether or not a person takes good photos.
You want to know why I'd rather meet my girlfriend in real life than on a dating app? Because I don't want to accidentally swipe left on her. I don't want to “meet” her when I'm at home, bored or late at night after a few drinks in me.
I don't want her to meet me as an image on 2 x 2 inch square on a glass screen that fits in her hand. The one thing that technology will never be able to create is the magic between two individuals that has created the moment they meet in the real world. Cyber magic doesn't exist.
Don't get me wrong, I'm still going to keep on swiping… I mean, what else am I going to do at 2:30 am on a Wednesday? But I still want to meet "the one" at a coffee shop, while she bumps into me and spills her coffee all over my shirt.
So maybe I'm not using dating apps to meet the one? Maybe I'm not using dating apps to actually date? Maybe you aren't? Is anyone, really?